Bad Grade for Rockford Students

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The Rockford School District received its report card from the state about academic achievement and the grades are not good.

Twenty-three schools were on the state's academic watch list last year and this year there are 32 schools in the Rockford School District that have more than 50 percent of their students failing the Illinois Scholastic Aptitude Test, placing Rockford’s educational system among the state's worst.

Former school board member Ted Biondo talking about the latest report cards the Rockford School District received from the state. A No Child Left Behind policy he says is not working.

Of those 32 schools, Washington Magnet had nearly 73 percent of their students fail a test that measures their ability in subjects like math reading and science.

And Montessori saw the number of students who passed the test there decline by nearly 14 percent, numbers that have outraged parents.

But some experts believe that parents should blame themselves for the continued decline in student achievement.

Bliss says he recommends moving money from secondary education to the elementary levels to give kids a fighting chance. Extended Web Coverage

No Child Left Behind

  • President George W. Bush signed into law the “No Child Left Behind Act” on Jan. 8, 2002.

  • This law changes the federal government’s role in kindergarten through grade-12 education by asking America’s schools to describe their success in terms of what each student accomplishes.

  • The act contains the President’s four basic education reform principles:
    • Stronger accountability of r results.
    • Increased flexibility and local control.
    • Expanded option for parents.
    • An emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.

    Accountability for Test Results

    • Beginning in the 2002-03 school year, schools must administer tests in each of three grade spans: grades 3-5, grades 6-9, and grades 10-12 in all schools.
    • Results of these tests will show up in annual state and district report cards, so parents can measure their school's performance and their state's progress.
    • These reports show us achievement gaps between students who are economically disadvantaged, from racial and ethnic minority groups, have disabilities, or have limited English proficiency. The report cards will also sort results by gender and migrant status.
    • Within twelve years, all students must perform at a proficient level under their state standards. But, states will set their own standards for each grade, so each state will say how well children should be reading at the end of third grade